Dilma Rousseff

Opening Speech at 2014 NETmundial - April 23, 2014

Dilma Rousseff
April 23, 2014— São Paulo, Brazil
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Good morning to one and all. I would like to thank those who spoke before me for perfectly pronouncing "good morning" in Portuguese, "Bom Dia", as voiced by our dear representative from Africa, Nnenna Nwakanma.

And by greeting her, I would like to extend my greetings to all women who are currently active on the Web. Both the girls and the guys who are equally active on the Web.

Greetings, likewise, to the mayor of Sao Paulo who has so kindly welcomed us.

And above all, I would like to, first of all, greet two members of Congress from Brazil, Namely, Mr. Alessandro Molon, representing the House of Representatives, who served as rapporteur of the bill which led up to the passing yesterday of the Internet civil framework, as well as Representative - rather Senator - Walter Pinheiro, and through him, I would like to further extend my greetings, likewise, to the Senate rapporteurs who were able to pass this piece of legislation in record time. Senator Vital do Rego, Senator Jose Perrella, Senator Ricardo Ferraço. Thank you.

And to Senator Walter Pinheiro and to Representative Alessandro Molon, I would like to voice my thanks for your efforts in passing the Internet civil framework.

Greetings, likewise, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Wu Hong Bo. Special greetings, likewise, to the inventor of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee.

I would like to greet the Vice-President of Google and a key person in the establishment of the Internet, Mr. Vint Cerf.

Greetings, once ag in, to Mr. Fadi Chehade, who, on October 8th 2013 -- correct, Fadi? -- if I'm not mistaken, met with me in Brasilia, on which occasion the seminal idea surfaced of establishing this Internet governance meeting being held here today.

So thank you very much to all of you, including cabinet ministers and foreign delegates attending this session today - and may I also use the opportunity to greet all cabinet ministers who have been actively involved in the process that led up to the passing of the Internet governance civil framework, an effort which of course involved all stakeholders and society.

Special thanks to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Figueiredo; to Minister of Justice José Eduardo Cardoso; also to Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo and Minister of Science and Technology Clélio Campolina Diniz; and may I also greet and thank Senator and Minister of Culture Marta SupIicy and the Brazilian Secretary-General of the President's Office, Gilberto Carvalho.

Greetings, likewise, to all attendees, particularly the media professionals, journalists, photographers, cameramen and camerawomen.

I would like to say that you are all most welcome to Brazil as attendees to this Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, the so-called NETmundial (as we call it in Portuguese).

At this point in time I would also like to voice my greetings to the organizers; i.e. the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee and the 1net Committee.

It gives me great joy to see in this plenary hall representatives of all the different sectors somehow involved in Internet governance.

In this hall today we have civil society, academia, the technical community, businesses and governments at large all represented.

This healthy diversity -- and I stress it is a healthy diversity -- is also a hallmark of those groups that have joined us through the Internet, and I would like to use the opportunity to establish a dialogue on the issues and the purposes that bring us together in Sao Paulo today.

Back in mid-2013, revelations of comprehensive mechanisms for mass spying and surveillance of communications caused anger and repudiation in vast circles of public opinion, both in Brazil and in the world at large.

In Brazil, citizens, companies, diplomatic representations and even the presidency of the republic itself were targeted, and their communications intercepted.

These events are not acceptable; were not acceptable in the past and remain unacceptable today, in that they are an affront against the very nature of the Internet as a democratic, free, and pluralistic platform.

The Internet we want is only possible in a scenario where human rights are respected, particularly the right to privacy and to one's freedom of expression.

Accordingly, in my address to the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations I put forth a proposal to tackle such practices. I then proposed a discussion on establishing a global civil framework for Internet governance and use, as well as measures to ensure actual protection of the data that travels through the Internet.

Also, working together with German chancellor Angela Merkel, we submitted to the United Nations a draft resolution on the right to privacy in the digital age.

The resolution was passed by consensus, as proposed, and we also passed a call for States to discontinue any arbitrary or illegal collection of personal data and to enforce users' rights to privacy.

I must stress the fact that the same rights that people are entitled to offline should be likewise protected online.

This meeting today, the NETmundial, provides further momentum to that effort. It also responds to a global yearning for changes in the current scenario, for ongoing, consistent strengthening of freedom of expression on the Internet and for efforts that ultimately protect basic human rights such as one's right to privacy. That is also, without a shadow of a doubt, the case of one's right to having web-based discussions treated in a respectful manner to ensure its democratic and open nature.

We have all, therefore, come to Sao Paulo with a shared purpose: that of enhancing and democratizing Internet governance by building consensus, consensus around principles and around a roadmap to be developed for its future evolution.

A point I'd like to make plain and clear is that the idea here is not, of course, to replace the countless fora out there that already address the topic or the matter at hand today. The idea, rather, is to lend new momentum and a much needed sense of urgency to the ongoing discussion.

We, therefore, work from two premises or key assumptions.

The first such premise is that we all want to protect the Internet as a democratic space, available to use by all, as a shared asset, as a true heritage of humankind.

More than simply a-work tool and way beyond its well-known contribution for economic growth (provided, of course, that it be increasingly inclusive), the Internet has enabled the constant reinvention of the way people and institutions interact, produce culture and organize, even politically.

An open and decent network architecture favors greater access to knowledge. It helps make communications more democratic and also fosters constant innovation. These basic features are the features that we want, and that should be preserved under any circumstances and in any scenario in order to ultimately guarantee the future of the Internet and thus leverage its transformative effects for and in societies.

The second premise is the desire we all share to incorporate an increasingly broader audience into this process.

Our commitment to an open and inclusive debate has guided the efforts to organize this meeting in Sao Paulo today. All related sectors have taken part in its preparation and are duly represented in this plenary hall today.

We are talking about thousands of participants from all over the world who are joined together by virtual connections in several different points of the planet.

The topics to be discussed have been the subject of broad and prior international public consultation, and have received inputs from players or stakeholders located in several different countries and in different geographies.

These proposals or inputs, in turn, have served as the foundation to develop a draft document, the draft document to be discussed and further enhanced here in the next few days.

I would like to congratulate The Executive Multisectoral Committee as well as the High-level Multisectoral Committee for this joint effort.

The interest of Brazilians in the Internet was reflected on the substantial participation by Brazilian nationals in the participa.br public consultation platform.

At this point in time, civil society is organized in this forum under the so-called NETmundial Arena, which is the Brazilian locus for access to today's sessions.

I would like to express to all ladies and gentlemen and to all friends attending this session, that Brazil advocates that Internet governance should be multisectoral, multilateral, democratic and transparent in nature.

It is our view that the multisectoral model is the best way to exercise Internet governance.

Very much in accordance with that view, our local governance system, which has been in operation for 20 years, has relied on actual participation of representatives from civil society, members of academia, the business community, and the government at large at the Internet management committee.

Fully in line with what I just said, I also attach a great deal of importance to the multilateral perspective, according to which government participation should occur on an equal footing among governments in such a way as to ensure that no one country will have or bear greater weight vis-a vis other countries.

Our advocacy of the multilateral model is the natural consequence of an elementary principle that should govern today's international relations, one enshrined in the Brazilian Federal Constitution: I'm talking about equality among States.

We, therefore, see no opposition whatsoever between multilateralism and multisectoralism. In fact, the opposite of that, an unilateral Internet, is what we deem untenable.

An Internet that is ultimately subject to intergovernmental arrangements to the exclusion of other sectors of society is not a democratic Internet.

Multisectoral arrangements that are, in turn, subject to oversight by one or few states are not acceptable either.

We truly want to make the relations between governments and societies, as well those between governments, more democratic. We want more democracy, not less.

The task of affording a global nature to the organizations currently responsible for the core functions of the Internet is not only a necessary task, but also an unpostponable one.

The complexity of the transition at hand - which involves jurisdictional competence, accountability and agreements with multiple stakeholders - does not, nevertheless, make it less urgent a task.

That is why I'd like to again welcome the intention recently voiced by the United States government to replace its institutional links with the Internet Authority for Number Assignment (IANA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, with a global management model for these institutions.

From now onwards, a new instrumental and legal arrangement of the Domain Name System, today under the responsibility of IANA and ICANN, must be built with broad-ranging involvement of all sectors that have an interest in the matter, way beyond the traditional stakeholders or players traditionally involved.

Each sector, of course, performs different roles based on likewi.se differentiated responsibilities. The operational management of the Internet should continue to be led by its technical community.

I'd like to, at this point, voice my public recognition -- on behalf of my government -- to these people who devote their time and energy on a day-to-day basis to keeping the Internet as an open, stable, and secure platform, a key effort which remains largely invisible in the eyes of most of us end users.

Matters pertaining to sovereignty, such as cybercrime, breach of rights, economic issues or transnational economic issues and threats of cyberattacks are the primary responsibility of States.

The task at hand is, above all, to ensure that States will have at their avail the tools that will allow them to fulfill their responsibilities before their citizens, including the guarantee of fundamental rights.

Rights which are ensured offline should be equally ensured online. These rights thrive under the shelter (and not in the absence) of the State.

In order for global Internet governance to be truly democratic, mechanisms are required to enable greater participation of developing countries in all different sectors.

The matters that are in the interest of these countries (which are heavy users of the Internet), such as expanding connectivity, accessibility, and ensuring respect to diversity, should be central on the international agenda.

It is not enough for fora to be open from a purely formal standpoint. We must further identify and remove the visible and invisible barriers to actual participation of the entire population of every country in the Internet, or else we would be ultimately restricting or limiting the democratic role and the social and cultural reach of the Internet.

The effort at hand further requires that the Internet Governance Forum be further strengthened as a dialogue forum capable of producing results and recommendations.

It also requires a comprehensive, broad-ranging 10-year review of the World Summit on Information Society, as well as a deeper discussion on ethics and privacy at the UNESCO level.

Given the above, I would like to say that we strongly believe that the cyberspace -- and I'm sure that belief is shared by all of you - should be the territory of trust, human rights, citizenship, collaboration, and peace.

To achieve these objectives, we must agree on basic principles that will ultimately guide Internet governance.

As regards privacy, the resolution passed by the United Nations organization was an important step in the right direction, but we still have much progress to make.

Any data collection or treatment should only be carried out with full agreement of the parties involved or as legally provided for.

However, the discussion on principles is much more comprehensive. It must --- and I stress it must -- include universal Internet access, which is absolutely key for the Web to serve as a tool for human and social development that can ultimately help build inclusive, nondiscriminatory societies.

It should also include freedom of expression and net neutrality as sine qua non conditions.

Brazil has its contributions to make, following a broad-ranging domestic discussion process that has ultimately led to the passing of the Internet Civil Framework Act enacted yesterday by Congress, which I had the honor of sanctioning just a few minutes ago. The law - and may I quote Sir Tim Berners-Lee who viewed it "as a gift to the web for its 25th Anniversary'' - clearly shows the feasibility and success of open multisectoral discussions and of the innovative use of the Internet to discuss its own nature, as a tool and an interactive discussion platform.

I think it is fair to say that the process that led up to the Civil Framework Act, as it currently stands, has been even further appreciated given the process that preceded the efforts to establish it as such.

Our civil framework establishes principles, guarantees and user rights, clearly assigning duties and responsibilities to the different stakeholders and government agencies acting on an online environment. And equally important, it enshrines net neutrality as a key principle, a major gain which we were able to materialize as a consensus in the process.

It enshrines net neutrality by establishing that telecommunications companies must treat any data packages equally, without any distinction whatsoever of content, origin, destination, terminal or application. Furthermore, companies may not block, monitor, filter or analyze the content of data packages.

The Civil Framework protects citizens' privacy, not only in the relations with the governments but also in relations with the Internet companies.

Communications are by definition non-violable, except by specific court order to that effect. The recently passed law further contains clear rules governing the removal of content from the Internet, always ensuring it may only happen with a court order.

The civil framework is an example of the fact that the Internet's development cannot do without a discussion process and the involvement of national States. As such, it stands as an innovative benchmark milestone because the voices of the streets, of the networks and of different institutions were all heard in its conception.

For all of the above, it is our firm conviction that on a network, each node matters. The large nodes, such as the megaportals to which a substantial amount of world traffic converges, and the small nodes are equally important.

At this time, I would like to bring to the fore a key fundamental issue. Our country has taken a major step forward by guaranteeing a steady stream of income and ensuring inclusion to a substantial share of our population.

Income and Internet access are equally important. Ensuring we have a place in society where citizens have their own views and are able to freely voice their views is equally important. Hence the invaluable degree of importance we attach to the Internet in our society.

We also have yet another major asset. I'm talking about Brazil's ethnic; cultural, political, and religious diversity. It is our duty to not only respect but also to promote and foster our diversity. We do not wish to impose beliefs, customs, values or political views on anyone.

And I want to once again highlight the thousands of users that multiply on a day-to-day basis, not only here but in all the developing countries, in the outskirts of large urban centers and also in traditional communities out there. All of these new users enrich the Internet with new alternative ideas and accounts of the world, with new world visions. These people make the Internet a stronger and more universal platform.

And it is on their behalf, and because of them, that I would like to again voice my gratitude to all of you for attending this meeting in Sao Paulo. For us, the Internet is a modern-day pro-emancipation, pro-transformation tool that changes society. Sweeping changes are introduced through the Internet. You are all most welcome. And I hope you will all come back for the World Cup, to the Cup of all Cups. If not, make sure you watch it through the Internet. Thank you very much again.

Source: https://efile.fara.gov/docs/5801-Supplemental-Statement-20140630-15.pdf